×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Expands Jio Investment to $22 Billion

Mukesh Ambani said that his Reliance Industries is investing some $22.5 billion (INR150,000 crore) in Jio, a nationwide 4G broadband platform which has the potential to change India’s media landscape.

Giving the keynote opening speech at the FICCI-Frames media convention in Mumbai on Wednesday, RIL chairman Ambani described Jio as “the world’s largest startup.”

The $22.5 billion figure is a 75% increase on the $12.8 billion (INR85,000 crore) that Ambani offered a year ago when he disclosed RIL’s investment in the platform.

“(Jio) is one of the largest transformational green-field digital initiatives anywhere in the world,”Ambani said.“Jio will be an ecosystem that comprises devices, broadband network, powerful applications and services distributed to every doorstep in India. Jio’s media offerings will include comprehensive library and programming recorded and live, music, sports, live television, movies.”

The speech was described by some observers as “inspirational,” as Ambani ticked off the economic progress made by Indian media in the past 12 years, and offered a vision of India climbing out of its current “digital poverty.” Ambani said that Jio will help India shift from its current 150th rank in global mobile Internet access to the top 10. But he notably failed to say when Jio will launch.

Jio had previously been set to launch in December last year. Investment analysts currently offer launch dates anywhere between April and December of this year. Currently it is only available to RIL’s 200,000 employees.

He offered a clue: “Jio will start its services with 70% coverage of the Indian population from day 1. I’m sure with all our industry partners and the efforts Jio is making India’s high speed mobile coverage will be over 90% by the end of year 2017.”

Ambani said that Jio will score through four key factors: coverage, quality/speed, data and affordability. “Jio will provide coverage, and wherever you are you will be able to access. Quality will be 40 to 80 times faster than at present. Quantity and capacity currently is 0.15 GB per annum, with capacity of over 10 GB per user per annum. We will be affordable to consumers,” he said.

Reliance Industries was a late entrant to the media and entertainment space, compared to the rival Reliance ADA Group, operated by Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother Anil. In 2014 Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries took controlling stakes in Network 18 Media and TV18 Broadcast, which are the joint venture partners of Viacom in India.

Reliance ADA group, recently renewed its commitment to Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, but is reported to be currently scaling back some of its other entertainment activities in India.

More Biz

  • Bon Appetit at the Chase Center

    Golden State Warriors' New Stadium Boasts the Best in the Bay Area Food Scene

    Don’t expect to dine on pedestrian stadium-style eats at San Francisco’s new $1.6 billion Chase Center, built on 10-plus acres in Mission Bay. Home court for the Golden State Warriors, the arena seats 18,500 and has 37 outlets to serve patrons freshly cooked and seasonal items along with craft brews, intricate cocktails and California wines. [...]

  • California Wines

    Splurge a Little on Choosing the Best California Wines for the Holidays

    California’s bounty of premium wines is prized by home cooks who can present and serve world-class wines without effort to their guests. “One should always splurge for the first bottle,” when serving wine at home, says Doug White of Napa’s soon-to-open Mia Carta collective tasting room. He suggests a rosé or syrah for Thanksgiving or [...]

  • Variety Business Managers Elite honoree Bill

    Variety’s Business Managers Elite Honoree Bill Tanner Looks Back, and Ahead

    As Hollywood business managers go, Bill Tanner of Tanner, Mainstain, Glynn & Johnson is one the most respected, with an impressive list of loyal big-name clients that includes Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing,” Broadway’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”). Tanner, also known for his real estate and equity investment skills, is Variety’s [...]

  • Euphoria HBO

    Business Managers Adapt to Generational Change

    A youth movement has swept through most of Hollywood. The digital generation has moved into high-level jobs at a tender age, and young influencers are bursting forth from YouTube to enter mainstream media. Nonetheless, an older generation remains entrenched in the business management community, which often handles the financial aff airs of newly rich baby [...]

  • Alan Horn Disney

    Variety Keynote Speaker Alan Horn Sees Opportunities in Expanded Portfolio

    As Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer, Hollywood veteran Alan Horn oversees the most enviable content portfolio in show business. In step with his co-chairman, Alan Bergman, Horn has command of monolithic brands like Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and Pixar — to say nothing of the 21st Century Fox film assets the men added [...]

  • Edward Cheng, Tencent Pictures CEO

    Tencent Results Show Rising Cost of Compliance, Impact of China's Slowing Economy

    Tencent, the Chinese tech giant that commands dominant positions across games, music, streaming and social media, Wednesday revealed third quarter results weighed down by slowing ad sales, slowing PC games and rising costs. Revenues in the July-to-September period showed a 21% year-on-year increase to RMB97.2 billion ($13.8 billion). Net profits dropped 13% to RMB20.4 billion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content